I read Justice League Beyond: In Gods We Trust (Graphic Novel 184 pages) yesterday while trying to relax and enjoy what will probably be one of my last quiet weekends for a while.
I think this is my favorite of the Batman Beyond graphic novels so far, which is interesting because I really don’t like the Justice League in any time.
I like how all the stories seemed to tie into the Batman Beyond world. The first comic in this graphic novel is the origin story for the character Micron, which referenced events that fans of the Batman Beyond series would easily recognize as from the beginning of the animated series with Wayne-Powers Enterprises. It also gives that tiny little tidbit that connects why Bruce Wayne stopped being Batman in the beginning of Batman Beyond‘s animated series. I thought it was because of his heart and failing physical health, but it’s mentioned in this graphic novel that it was because he pulled a gun on the bad guys and that’s something he swore he would never do because a gun is what killed his parents. I really liked how Micron says at the end the his mother has always been his role model and his hero and now he can follow in her footsteps. This is neat to me because his mother isn’t a superhero in the comic book sense – his mother is a paramedic working alongside the Gotham City Fire Department. I like that part of the storyline because those are real heroes. They don’t have any superpowers, but they help people and make a huge difference in the world.
The back story for this generation’s Flash was probably the story I enjoyed the most out of this whole graphic novel. It started right after the end scene from Batman Beyond: the Return of the Joker with Barbara and Bruce as Batgirl and Batman talking to Commissioner Gordon about Tim Drake and the death of the Joker. I was again amused by the grandmother appearance of Harlequinn and her two Jokerz granddaughters. She’s absolutely hilarious with lines like, “Don’t sass-talk your grandmother,” and “Forgive them. Karma’s a bitch and so was their mom. Would you like some tea? Don’t worry, it’s not poisoned.” I really like the red and black theme in the kitchen and for all the cookware. I think once I’m actually settled into my final cabin out in the middle of nowhere that I’ll do some sort of coordinated theme or decorating for my kitchen. Perhaps not Harley style, or maybe using this style and just different colors. But I digress. The Flash story then continues with Dani stopping a super-powered bank robbery and then showing up to work late with destroyed running shoes. Something about how her shoes were trashed gave me a good sense of reality for this particular story and I really appreciated where she was coming from. I also think it’s amusing that this generation’s Flash works as a tour guide for the Flash museum. So when Mindslide shows up and starts knocking down all of the Justice League members, Dani sits most of it out until she’s positive that she can make a difference. It was very refreshing to see a hero who took a step back to think about proper courses of action instead of just jumping in blind with the violence, as is most common in comic book stories. Dani keeps trying to be an athlete, but her body just doesn’t cooperate. She accepts that she has to find other dreams and other aspirations, but she still continues to try in her heart to be the runner that she always dreamed of, and then one day, she believes in herself and just acts instead of thinking. She discovers her power and she becomes the next Flash. She tells her parents about her powers and her father actually helps her to develop her suit. It was a really neat back story about dreams and family support for amazing things.
The two back stories for Green Lantern and Superman weren’t really as good, though it did show the origin of the blue assassin from the Batman Beyond animated series (the name escapes me at the current time and I don’t want to look it up). And the Superman story was kind of interesting, in the sense that it showed an older Superman having to deal with some of the consequences of actions he took when he was younger and saw the universe has having simple answers instead of complicated situations involving multiple people who believe they are the only ones that could be right and that the other side is evil.
Overall, this is probably a solid three on my rating scale. I’m glad I bought it and that I own it, as it’s a lot of good information towards the Batman Beyond world and also because of the Flash back story.